|Houston Retro Radio||
I have set up a blog just for the people who visit this web site. It is not a place for ME to answer radio questions. It is a place for ANYBODY to answer a radio question.
If I happen to know the
answer, I will write one. However, the chances are there will be
someone else out there who is better equipped to give an answer.
May 5, 2011
KEY PAGES ON THIS SITE
The Civil War:
"Chiefly About War Matters"
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Weird Tales of the Jazz Age: "May
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Desperately Seeking Sixties
Although this web site has a reputation for being about Houston radio in the sixties, there is no set cut off date on either end of the period covered.The most recently recorded item is a KNUZ oldies format aircheck from 1991. I also have a good amount of New Wave era material from around 1980.
Actually, the early 60's are woefully underrepresented here.
Only a very few items were recorded before October, 1964.
I am asking for more Houston radio material from the 60's, especially the first half of the decade. Top 40 recordings are welcome, particularly if they are unscoped recordings not previously heard on the internet.
I also want to make a special appeal for adult format materials from the early and mid 60's.
That would include such AM stations as KXYZ, KODA, KPRC, KTRH, and KTHT (Demand Radio 79) plus all the Houston FM stations of that era.
I am asking you to think about about what old reel to reel tapes you may know about. Those materials may be gathering dust in someone's attic. They may be about to be thrown into the proverbial (and literal) dust bin of history.
That is what will happen to those tapes if someone dies and the person in charge of the estate fails to understand their historical interest. If you own those tapes yourself, the person to whom I just alluded who will hypothetically die someday is you.
— Grady McAllisterWrite to this web site
If any link fails to work, please email this site.
Galveston 1980 to 1988
Above: It's December, 1980, and a Sears Ricoh 35mm camera on a tripod captures a skater heading toward Galveston's historic Buccaneer Hotel. The Buccaneer was demolished in 1999.
All photos in this left column were taken by Grady McAllister in the 1980's.Photographer's note: The Seawall Boulevard photos were shot from 1980 to 1983. An especially high percentage are from the mild winter of 1980-81.
During that period, I was there nearly every weekend to practice my photography.I took the other photos at East Beach, Stewart Beach, and The Hut Club, and the dates run from 1980 to 1988.
Additional vintage Galveston photos are on the on the Galveston, Suburbia & Exurbia page.Most images can be clicked for a larger view.
The first black and white image below is from the summer of 1980, and it is the first 35mm picture I ever took in Galveston.It was one of the hottest summers ever experienced in the Houston area. The temperature was going up to about 104 every day. In fact, there was a nationwide heat wave -- I still have a Life magazine with a blazing sun on the cover.
At that point, I wasn't a regular visitor to Galveston and had not been there for several years. A friend talked me into going down on a weekday. We went to East Beach and discovered two ladies who had found their own way of dealing with the heat.
I had just bought my first 35mm camera, and I barely knew how to use it. I was just playing around with photography at that point, and I didn't even keep the negative for this picture.
Notice the convenient plug for Igloo coolers. The last time I checked, they were still being made in Houston. I still use one I bought in 1984.
The anamorphic photo below is adapted from a slide shot in Galveston in 1980. The arrow, which pointed to the 61st Street fishing pier, is no longer there. Hurricane Alicia may have destroyed it in 1983. This arrow image is the emblem for all of The Vasthead web pages.
Image on right: The Galveston Buccaneer Hotel on a foggy afternoon early in 1981. Click for a full view.
Above: The Galveston seawall, a summer Sunday at dawn in 1982.
Above: The Flagship Hotel in December, 1980. The hotel long served as a dividing point for the Galveston seawall, the longest continuous sidewalk in the world. Hurricane Ike gutted the hotel in 2008. In 2012, the pier became the Pleasure Pier amusement park, a revival of a role it held before the hotel opened in 1965.
Below: Skaters take babes in arms along for the ride in 1981. Don't try this yourself. Visible through the lifting fog is the Buccaneer Hotel, demolished on New Year's Day, 1999.
Above: November, 1980. It's twilight and time to return the skates after an afternoon on the Galveston seawall. Below: The same two skaters a moment later. This time, they knew they were being photographed.
Added March 17, 2013
Hear KILT becomes a country station at 6:00 AM
A special moment in radio from Robert B. McEntire
For the benefit of people who live out of Texas or who don’t remember the days of real radio…
From the 50’s to the 80’s, KILT was one of the most influential radio stations in the nation, creatively and constantly re-inventing the top 40 music format.
By the early 80’s KILT was searching for a new identity as FM rivals eroded KILT’s stranglehold on the rock and roll audience. On June 1, 1981, KILT changed to country, a format still heard on KILT-FM, 100.3. The original KILT (610 AM) is now an all sports outlet.
Long-time KILT newsman Robert B. McEntire sent us this recording of the exact moment when KILT switched to country.
What was KILT like just before the changeover? Thank you for asking... On March 25, 1980, I just happened to record a few hours of KILT in the twilight of its Top 40 era…
Look for "A Night in the Life of KILT" in the right column of that Mainly 80's page.
Words to remember: "Everything Counts!"
This page last changed
February 22, 2014 12:35 PM .
If you don't want your name to be used or an email to be quoted, please state that at the beginning of your message.
Unless otherwise indicated, all commentary and photography on this site are by Grady McAllister.
No Shock and Awe Frenzy! Some points to ponder before writing to this web site...
1, The purpose of this web site is to receive radio recordings from people, mainly material that has not been widely heard before. It is not the purpose of this site to take requests for airchecks or to find specific airchecks for people. This is not the Aircheck Factory Warehouse.
2. The only airchecks available from this site are the ones that are already on line.
All the aircheck pages are listed in the upper left of each radio page. If you don't see an aircheck of your dad, your brother, your ex-wife, or whoever else you are seeking, I don't have it. I don't consider airchecks a major hobby, and that is why you see only a limited amount of material.
I like having a web site that looks good and is well written. That means a lot more to me than having airchecks piled higher and deeper than everybody else. I am not interested in making wholesale downloads from other sites just to have every Houston aircheck on the planet.
3. Messages which complain that a particular DJ is "missing" from this site will be ignored.
If such an aircheck even exists, the only way I could get it would be to download it or buy it from another web site. That is not what I am here for. This is not the Open-All-Night, Worldwide, Web-Wide, Clearinghouse for All DJ Recordings.
4. Please don't send images such as pictures of DJ's or scans of music survey sheets. You may, however, put those items on our Facebook page.
5. If you really want an answer to a question, you need to expose it to a wide audience. Sending it to me in an email is not the way to do that. Please place your questions on our Facebook page. That way anyone can respond who knows the answer.
6. Most of the airchecks we receive fall into the top 40 category. However, during the period we cover—the 60's in particular—there were other popular formats which have all but disappeared.
They included classical, MOR, jazz, and beautiful music. I am also thinking of the early versions of adult contemporary, news and talk, album rock, and country. We would like to uncover more recordings in those categories. My personal favorite is the KXYZ beautiful music format which ran during most of the 60's.
This is a place where a select number of air checks appear on line, are written about, and are given their proper place in Houston radio history.
This site started as a place for recordings I had made myself. Later, people sent me other airchecks. The emphasis was always on recordings that had never been heard on the internet, not on materials available on other web sites.
I'll be glad to make an exception if the air personality himself sends me a recording. I will use it even if it is already on another site.
Nonetheless, the main search is for airchecks that have not been widely heard. Also, they must be connected in some way to the Houston area.
The Free Corps of Free Lance Advisors: "You gotta believe we wuz groovy babies back in the day!"
Every now and then, I am contacted by the Free Corps of Free Lance Advisors. They want the world, and they want it yesterday. They love to "suggest" something that is well beyond the scope of this web site.
For one thing, it is not the mission of this site to set up web page shrines to particular DJ's. One advisor sent a "request" that I set up a separate Facebook page to pay tribute his favorite '60's night jock. He claimed to be a web technology expert, but for some reason he expected me to do this for him.
There are aging teenagers out there who expect me to slip into a Shock and Awe Frenzy at the mere mention of a 60's DJ.
Their attitude is something like this:
They think this site is the Super Quickie, Just-in-Time Delivery, Aircheck Order Window.
They think that since I have some airchecks, I wallow in airchecks day and night. They think I should drop everything to devote a little more thought to their Boss Jock of All Time.
In the case I just mentioned, the importunate emails became more and more insistent and downright abrasive. I had to bar him from my existing Facebook page.
That kind of advisor I can do without. The fact is I have plenty of ideas of my own which I have not found time to implement.
Another person wrote to ask for a recording of a rap artist from the 90's. Anyone who has really looked at this site knows it is not the place for rap.
That is really the crux of the problem: People write wanting this or that without taking a good look at what is already here or at my explanation of why the site exists.
For more information about this main radio site, go to this page:
And, once again, you can place your questions and comments on our Facebook page:
This radio Facebook page is open to the public. In other words, you don't have to be approved for a 'friend" list in order to comment. All you need is your own Facebook account.
If you have a comment about radio, a question about airchecks, or a request for a particular kind of aircheck, please place your remarks on our public Facebook forum.
Or, A typical aircheck request: "Could you possibly find more of these and put them on your site? That would be so groovy, man...LOL"
— from an April 27, 2010, email
Somebody has been watching too many Austin Powers movies.
The above message complained that this site has only short "snippets" of KILT in the 70's. That's quite a shame, isn't it?
I am going to explain the aircheck situation one more time.
This page began just as a place to list my own recordings of radio stations. Later on, other people made contributions, but this site was never intended to be the Listener's Clearinghouse for All Airchecks.
It takes quite a bit of time just managing the current collection. I am not in the business of finding specific additional airchecks for people. The reasons are thoroughly explained on the FAQ page.
If you have something to contribute, fine, but don't expect me to locate new airchecks for you.
If you would like to make a public appeal for a specific type of recording, you should place it directly on our public Facebook page.
Do not request an aircheck in an email to me. Everything I have to offer is already on line, so what is the point in asking for what I obviously don't have?
Don't write just to complain about what isn't here. I am not here to apologize for what I don't have.
I set up the public Facebook page so people would have a place to appeal for airchecks, ask questions, and express opinions.
Bring your specialized radio questions to: Houston Retro Radio on Facebook
The Facebook page is an adjunct to the Houston Retro Radio site.
It takes a cabal of radio people to create a clearinghouse for all radio questions.
If you are a radio veteran
You can still write to me directly:
However, questions about who was morning drive in what year and general rants will probably be referred back to the Facebook page.
Do not for any reason send me an email reading:
I have set up the Facebook forum for a very selfish reason: I don't like dealing with questions like the one in the above example.
How this web site is organized
This radio section grew to the point where had to be split into more than one page. The new pages are listed toward the top left.
No system of classification is perfect, and once you put a station into a category there can be some misleading implications. KILT won't be listed as an adult format, but it was not just for teenagers. It mainly aimed for ages 18-35.
On the other hand, some teenagers listened to the KXYZ beautiful music format in the 60's. I was one of them.
Here is the question I use to separate the adult formats from the not so adult formats:
"Is this a station which a young punk would put up with?"
In the 60's and 70's, a young punk would have listened to KILT and KLOL, but he would not have put up with KPRC, KODA, or KYND. I listened to all those stations, including the ones that a young punk would have laughed at. I was young but I was never a young punk. (I credit the Alex Bennett recordings for teaching me the usefulness of the phrase "young punk.")
There will also be overlapping categories. The Alex Bennett group is big enough to rate a separate section. Yet among his material you can find entire recordings which are the regular KILT music programming, not just the talk shows you expect.
You also find the opposite situation: A talk show on page devoted mainly to DJ's. The Beau Weaver talk show follows the Captain Jack DJ materials on the Mainly 80's page. That is because I didn't want to break up my "Night in the Life of KILT" set.
There are also newscasts embedded within talk shows and music shows. I hope to eventually copy all of the newscasts and list them separately on the news and public affairs page.
This home page is the one you should mark in your browser. The specialized radio pages will undergo additional reorganization and renaming, so always begin your visit here.
If you wander onto another part of VASTHEAD.COM, you can return to this radio home page by using the cyan colored link marked "Houston Retro Radio."
If you don't want your name to be used, or for an email to be quoted, please state that at the beginning of your message
All writing, including my own, is subject to continual revision to better meet the current needs this site. In some cases, an incoming message may be rewritten slightly to improve clarity or to conform to generally accepted editing practice (for example, not beginning a sentence with a numeral).
Please write to me if you notice any typographical errors, bad links, skipping mp3 files, or any other problems in these pages.
There is little point in writing to me seeking a specific aircheck. Nearly everything is already here.
The above recordings are archived for their historical value to researchers. They may not be used for any commercial purpose. The material is made available under U.S.C. Title 17 Section 107. Any given item may be covered under international copyright law even if no copyright notice appears.
Houston Retro Radio is hosted as part of VASTHEAD.COM.
You can also access these pages by going to http://houstonretro.com.